MTA New York City Transit, New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have collaborated with Visa to create a payment system that uses Visa's PayWave technology and several popular smartphones, including the iPhone. Travelers trying out the service can pay for passage onto the trains by simply waving a properly-equipped iPhone over a special sensor at the turnstiles.
Here's how it works. First, iPhones equipped with PayWave and special sensors (don't ask us how you get one) are activated, which let the users know when it's ready to use. Then, it's held before the sensor and presto! You're in.
Currently, the pilot program is limited to 28 stops along the Lexington line of the New York subway system. Similar testing is being done in London, Paris, Istanbul, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
It's a neat idea. I've certainly lost track of how much credit I've got on a card, and I detest waiting in line at the machine. Of course, this also means an increase of people waving easily dropped (or grabbed) iPhones around.